Well, it looks like my buddy Chris Weston was right about GRINDHOUSE getting split in twain for post-first run release, and the first of the extended versions of the GRINDHOUSE "features" has been released to DVD. I already reviewed the theatrical double feature version of GRINDHOUSE when it came out, so I'd advise reading that before you proceed with this look at the full length version of Quentin Tarantino's half of that delicious bit of old school exploitation.
The 2-disc DVD release of DEATH PROOF gives viewers the one-hundred and fifteen minute version of Tarantino's road-psycho chick flick, a version that's loads of fun — for me, anyway — but not necessarily an improvement over its leaner double feature cut. The stuff that was sacrificed to make way for fake missing reels, projection defects, and just plain shorter running time has been restored, although Butterfly's lap dance for Stuntman Mike is still not quite all there, its finale notably missing and made to look like it was lost thanks to being run too many times in an actual grindhouse movie theater.
For those who saw the original version and absolutely hated the lengthy sequences of two different groups of four women sitting around bullshitting, this cut will be equivalent to slow torture since those sequences have been lengthened quite a bit, and though I still enjoyed the dialogue — happily accustomed as I am to being the lone guy in a room full of chatty chicks — there's now a hell of a lot more of it, an addition that further pads the running time until the shit hits the fan during the last twenty minutes.
Like chicks sitting around bullshitting? Have I got a movie for you!
But that's not to say that the characters don't benefit from the dialogue fleshing them out a bit more, and since all the performances were good in the first place I'd say it's a win-win situation for all who care to sit through it.
The edge-of-your-seat car fight between Stuntman Mike and the girls in the VANISHING POINT car appears to remain the same, and as anyone who's seen it can tell you that sequence is worth the price of the DVD.
Sadly, considering how much the motherfucker likes to talk, Tarantino once more releases a disc of one of his films with no commentary whatsoever, and I think that just plain sucks ass. Quentin's a bit of a nattering motormouth, but he's seldom boring or pretentious, and his infectious love of movies and what he does is a lot of fun to experience when he's given a forum in which to go off, such as a talk show interview, but those are a short fix. Why he doesn't provide commentary on his films is beyond me, and such an extra would certainly embellish any of his flicks, especially JACKIE BROWN and the two KILL BILL installments, a pair of films as different as day and night.
DEATH PROOF is a solid entry in the badass-women genre and is most definitely worth checking out, but the chit-chat does dominate the film, which only serves to gives the automotive violence sequences that much more power. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
TRUST YER BUNCHE!!!